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Seemingly every city has that unique feature few people know about, and for Cologne, Germany, its Hohenzollern Bridge. Though it initially seems like any other bridge crossing the Rhine, Hohenzollern is special in that over the last several years people have been stopping by to put so-called "love locks" on the fence that spans the bridge, creating an unusual stop for people on a tour of Germany.
Visitors began affixing the locks in the summer of 2008, and it's become a popular practice. The thought behind it is simple: put the lock through the link and throw the key into the Rhine. The gesture is meant to be a symbol of everlasting love, and the hundreds of locks that have been assembled on the bridge have created one of the most unique visual spectacles in the city.
While visiting Cologne on a tour of Germany to check out the love padlocks is a must, the city is not the only spot in Europe to have enjoyed the burgeoning trend. In Moscow, for instance, one of the many iron-built trees along the Vodootvodny Canal has been targeted by lock-bearing lovers. Other cities, including Paris, France, and Florence, Italy, have also seen thousands of padlocks.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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